Parenthood Review: Mixed Signals

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What we had in Parenthood Season 5 Episode 20 was a mixture of meh and good stories that arose out of mixed signals between many of the characters.

The good came from progress with Kristina's charter school after the inclusion of Julia as her scary lawyer lady, burgeoning success for Ashes of Rome (and Crosby and Adam) and Zeek and Camille finding what appears to be home.

Meh came from Sarah and Hank and everything else fell somewhere in between.

Let's start slow. Does anyone know what they're trying to accomplish with Sarah and Hank? Week after week of Hank struggling to share his feelings with Sarah and her pushing him away but she's still not quite sure what he's driving at? He can stop going to therapy because he's not the issue. Asperger's is a cake walk relative to dealing with a nitwit like Sarah. Prove me wrong.

Drew is equally as clueless. It was shocking how angry he was to get back to his dorm room and find Berto had infiltrated his side of the room. What did he expect after two weeks? I loved what Berto did for him by forcing him to face his feelings for him. Berto always seemed kind of like an idiot, but he's a pretty smart kid under that goofy exterior.

Pointing out that Drew was the one who messed things up with Natalie was a good move, too.

For anyone who disagrees with that notion, what Drew needed to do to keep things in tact with Natalie was not let her boss him around. She wasn't looking for a dude who was going to let her sleep around. What girl truly wants that? When he let her run roughshod over him, he lost her respect and she acted like a college girl in heat. Nobody said it was smart.

Did I miss something that made Crosby and Jasmine think it was time to move back into their house? Were they going by a date on the calendar without getting updates on the actual progress? How in the HELL did they think they were moving back to a home without floors? That made no sense to me at all. When they showed the "previously on" portion at the beginning of the hour and the mold story fell before the house sale, I thought for sure they would buy the homestead. Sigh.

Zeek and Camille surprised me with their relationship again. After his trip with Crosby, he was completely at ease with the prospect of moving and letting go. It was Camille who couldn't bring herself to toss out memories of their lives together and thought they might be making a mistake, even after the papers were signed on the sale of the house.

So what did Zeek do? He found a perfect Victorian with a view through the backyard that was reminiscent of what Camille must have seen on her visit to Italy. He really couldn't have chosen a better home for them and there's no doubt that, barring Parenthood drama cancelling the sale of their house, it will be their new home. I can already picture Camille painting that landscape from the balcony. 

Everyone who was so certain that Julia had been having an affair with Ed was proven wrong when she finally admitted he made her happy this year and accepted a date with him, only to decide at the last minute she could no longer stay. I felt badly for Ed. They really did have a strong connection but he wasn't hot enough to break through her fear of letting go of Joel. 

Evan Knight is that hot.

What brought Ed and Julia back together was Julia's assistance on the charter school project. She is reinvigorated with life because she has something to do with her time and she's a damn good attorney. Ed wasn't the only one who noticed. As Julia was persuading Evan to be headmaster, he took a liking to her. They met up later at the Ashes of Rome album release party and it didn't take much longer for them to be back at her place, disrobing to the music in their heads.

If we're to believe the always misleading Parenthood previews, "the love of her life" is coming back just as she's ready to open her heart again. We're supposed to buy this because Joel shows up at her door smiling. Hell, he could be dropping off a cake pan. It wouldn't surprise me if Julia felt horribly guilty when she sees him, but I don't expect it to change the course of their future. I've been played too many times.

Adam had a really good week. The charter school was approved and the big boy band 4D (ya'll know them, right?) heard Ashes of Rome's album and want's them to open on 22 cities of their tour. Oliver thinks it's a joke, of course, until he meets the kids.

Trailing behind them are 20 something year old women who the 4D boys don't like because they're really old and they're saving themselves for marriage. And hey, they're only giving their fans the music they want, because they really want to play tunes just like Ashes of Rome. Talk about music to Oliver's ears!

There's going to be a huge payday for everyone. All is right with all worlds. Except Joel's and Hank's and Sarah's. And it looks like next week will being hell to pretty much everyone. Goody! Chat about it all in the comments and watch Parenthood online for you fix until next week.

Did you like the house Zeek chose for Millie?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Solid episode.
I am not a fan of the Hank/Sarah pairing but not b/c of Sarah. She's taken a long time to "find herself" and that may be flighty for some esp in comparison of Adam & Julia & almost even Crosby but it could be Soooo much worse. I thought she clicked best w/ Carl.
Drew needs to grow up a little. What's her face was just a bed buddy who wasn't interested in him until she couldn't have him anymore. He's gone from sensitive to an emo caricature. Why can't he just get a haircut & have some fun??
Even Knight is hot in a very geeky but cool kind of way. I want to date a guy like him. :) However, I do NOT agree that Julia should have taken him back to her place. That was very inappropriate.
And I am confused about Zeek and Camille...I thought they were selling the house so they could travel more & do all the things Camille dreamed her 3rd chapter would be like? Why buy another house if that's true? Can someone correct me on this?

@ Teelow1421

Camille wanted a smaller place. And travel and do more things in their third chapter.


I dont see why everyone hates Hank so much... I personally like his character, and I hope Sarah and Hank get back together. And hopefully the school works out well because Max deserves a better place to learn without being treated poorly. As for the Joel and Julia situation... I think Joel is being a huge jerk over one event that is over with. And although it would be nice to see them back together, I think Julia and the teacher would be a great couple. Also... Zeek and Camille selling the house was really sad, I was hoping they wouldnt sell it, but it might be pretty cool to see how things work out with the new house! :)


Say Cairssa on a completely different note. I noticed that between last nite and previews of last 2 episodes,there seems to be a lot of buttoning up of all the storylines this year. Max gets new school. Zeek an Camilla get new home. Ryan comes home. Crosby's job and family are settling. Sarah and Hank are doing something? And last but not least Joel and Julia look to be soon divorced. So my question is ,has the show been renewed for next season or is it still up in the air?

@ reality adictt

It hasn't been renewed, but that's not uncommon for Parenthood. It's doing better than it was at this time last year, so it would be a surprise if they didn't renew it. NBC doesn't have a lot of solid performers. However, you never know!


I liked it. BUT, honestly I don't think I'll be able to take episode after episode of Max or Max's school. or Kristina complaining Max's school isn't getting this or that. Ugh....we get it someone connected to the show has a child with it. MOVE ON!!! you're ruining this show. Either send Max to a boarding school or send Kristina and Max to a boarding school. Then it's over and done with. YOU ARE BORING US to the point I don't want to watch Parenthood anymore. Oh and HANK...OMGGGG send Raymond back to where ever he came from. Seriously, it's like watching paint dry when he, Max and Kristina are on the screen! Ughhhhh

@ Eloise

Please don't use word "us". I'm sure not everyone finds Max and Hank boring. Personally I watch Parenthood just for those two characters. If I have to stop watching the show, it would be because of Sarah. Don't assume everyone out there has the same interests than you.


Your right in that using the word slut was out of line. This story line hits a little too close to home. That being said,I don't remember Joel ever saying it was ok for them to start seeing other people and he was very clear to state that his dinner date was a bussiness celebration. He even made it a point to wsithdraw his hand from Pete's during dinner. I am just really put off that Julia so quickly gave up on her moral character and slept with someone she hardly knows and did it in her and Joel's bed. I would have had a little more compassion if it had been at Ed's house since they had built a releationship. Iam not saying Joel is a good guy,but he has respected the fact that they are still married and to this point has not cheated on her. I almost think Julia felt empowered when Joel told her he wasn't dateing or sleeping with anyone.

@ reality adictt

I agree about Julia's decision to sleep with Max's teacher. There is no way that is going to end well. And everyone who is saying that Joel is somehow getting what he deserved for dragging his feet about reconciling with Julia, that is incredibly cold. I thought Sam jaeger did a great job describing Joel's deepest feelings of betrayal last week when he (finally) told Julia why he still was ready to work on getting back together. But neither was he telling her it was over either and I think that should have meant something to Julia. It didn't. So now Joel realizes he has to move one direction or another and I think he is wanting to truly save his marriage now. But fictional world or not, there is no way things are going to work out now between he and Julia. She has rung a bell that can't be unrung. And involving someone in her marital mess that is so important to Max's future (remember Crosby and the Max's tutor and what a train wreck that caused?) was really thoughtless on her part. If Joel in that scen is coming over to say he wants to make their marriage work, I do expect that Julia's guilt will be much worse than it was when she was having her emotional affair with Ed. And if that leads to confessing to Joel what she's done, there is no scenario even remotely realistic that would include Joel being be able to move past that. If this show is renewed, sadly, those two will no longer be married when the season starts. But I'll no longer be watching anyway, so it makes no difference to me..

@ Bill

For someone that claims you will not be watching the show if it is renewed you sure like to make your opinion known for what you think about a show you no longer want to watch!

@ reality adictt

See didn't feel empowered by Joel not dating anyone, she felt freed when he told her he was letting them go and didn't intend on working on the marriage. There's a big difference. They've been broken a long time. She has been reaching for him for a long time. When you're used to having love in your life, when you think it's gone and have an opportunity to get it back, you take it. Everybody called her a slut for a FRIENDSHIP with Ed which was completely unfair. It's just as unfair to do this now when she went to Joel in honesty, asking if there was any chance, and he said no. He's done nothing but push her away every time she's reached. The only overture he made was to Zeek and that was for his kids, not Julia.

@ Carissa Pavlica

I think it's a male female perspective issue. I never heard Joel say he was quitting on their marriage. Just wasn't trying to save it at this moment. I also never heard anything about being free to see other people. If you feel that was freeing for Julia after fighting for some time to save the marriage during which is still just a trial separation then that's fine, but as far as trying to replace the feeling of love she has had for so long with a virtual stranger is really screwed up. And if you are right that they had their little sex romp in her and Joel marital bed then she clearly wasn't feeling the deep love and hurt for Joel that we were led to believe. Your right that Joel has been unwilling to work on this marriage lately but what Julia did was just plain wrong and disrespectful to not only Joel but to herself. I know you have been championing the break up of this marriage for sometime and now it looks like it's over. Just wish the wild sex affair could have waited until after the divorce papers had started. But this is tv.
PS I never used the the dirty word till I found out that they used the marital bed. Old fashion I guess.
Yeah Ryan back

@ reality adictt

Life isn't so black & white that people wait for a clear verbal consent from a former partner to move on with their lives. Sometimes people will be impulsive and just go with what they are feeling in that moment. From Julia's eyes (right or wrong), she has spent the better part of a year fighting for a marriage that is broken. Her husband just told her he's not willing to work on repairing it & the only man who "makes her feel good" also makes her feel equally as guilty & wrong b/c of how their friendship played a role in the end of the marriage. This hot teacher man brought all the flattery without any of the baggage & she let herself live in the moment for just a moment. This is a very true to life scenario. I pass no judgment on it & applaud the writers for not being altruistic.

@ Carissa Pavlica

You are distorting what was said between Julia and Joel last week to try to justify Julia's decision to sleep with Max's teacher. First, he was very open and honest about why he was hurting so much and it wasn't just because of her affair with Ed (even though Julia still refuses to call it that). He said if she insisted on an answer right then, "no he wasn't working on reconciling with her, not right now." That didn't mean it was over. It mean that he was still hurting too much to try to get back together with her. I thought he clearly left the door open to possibly reconciling in the future. But what Julia did has killed ANY chance of that ever happening. And no I don't think Julia was a slut for what went on between her and ed. But to call it simply a "FRIENDSHIP" is incredibly naïve. He kissed her. She kissed him back. She kept the true nature of her relationship with a man from her husband. She lied about why he was texting and calling her all the time. Even Julia knew their relationship had gone beyond just friendship. So did that make her a slut? No. Was it reckless and stupid of her to get involved with a man so closely when both her marriage and his were so rocky? Without a doubt.

@ Bill

Bill: I think you are missing what was said, you should download last weeks episode and watch it again.
She asked if they were free to see other people or if they were going to work on their marriage HE did tell her he is not ready to work on their marriage and does not know if he ever will be.


Sarah and Hank story is just to stupid to watch.
Zeek and Camile make me smile.
Drew is lost when Amber not around. Enjoyed the whole drinking/honest game.
I don't like Julia at all after last nite but Iam still trying to figure out the best way to express my thoughts. You however pointed out something that makes me disguested even more. Was her random,cheating,still married,1st date,(not even a date) sexcapde,in her and Joel's bed?
Given how the writers have reduced Joel's character to a cold and withdrawn married man,I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they would have Julia going so low as to slut it up with another man in her still husbands bed. I was with her character right up to the point of her asking Joel to fight more for the marriage but now in 1 short week she throws all morals and class out the window for a roll in the sack. She should feel guilty and even if Joel/Juila reconnect I hope it's not in that same bed. I clearly have some infidelity issues.
Love the band

@ reality adictt

It is not cheating, they are having a trial separation. Joel pretty much told Julia last week that they can see other people and he was not ready to give their marriage a try and not sure if he ever will be. So to Julia her marriage is over, he husband is not willing to fight for their marriage so she has every right to do what she wants and be happy. So saying she is a slut is super harsh and you need to be careful with what you say.

Sarah silva

So Zeke and Camille are really moving, the new house is cute but I will miss their old one. My hopes for Crosby buying the house are gone as well. I was a little upset at Camille for practically forcing Zeke to choose the house or her and then when he is on board and the house is sold SHE has second thoughts.
Even after Hank's confession to Sarah I STILL do not want to see them together.
I think I like the idea of Julia and Evan. He seems like how Joel used to be. He also gave her some compliments and you can tell that by that and by doing some lawyer stuff again she was happier than she has been in a long time. I too felt bad for Ed, he really likes Julia and thought she liked him but I guess deep down it is not that she was not ready BUT that she just sees Ed as a friend and nothing more.
Also it was his house not hers that they went back too.
It was nice to see that Drew and Berto got over their issues BUT I still do not like him or Natalie. Please do not bring then back if we get another season.
Carissa: I am sure when Natalie told Drew she did not want a relationship just wanted to have fun and enjoy her college experience that she was sleeping with other guys, I am pretty sure that was mentioned earlier this season but I could be wrong.
Finally a mention of Haddie, I was just thinking yesterday before the show aired that it would not be that hard to just toss in one line about Haddie, like talked to Haddie today she says hi or something.
I knew that Ryan was going to be back due to an injury, I still think he lost a leg but we will see.
Just 2 more episodes left and I really hope NBC renews this wonderful show.

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Parenthood Season 5 Episode 20 Quotes

4D! Do you know how huge they are? 4D are you kidding me? And I'm movin' out of mom and dad's today. I gotta play the lottery!


Hank: So you're saying it's Asperger's fault. Do I have every right to be mad at Asperger's?
Dr. Pelican: Yes, you do.